Big Texas Beer Fest
Saturday marks the second annual BTBF, where brews from around the state, country and world will be on hand for sippin’ and samplin’. YES, I’ve been a wine and cocktail girl for the time you’ve known me, but I’ve seen the light where beers are concerned, especially when they’re paired with great food. The 2 p.m. Fair Park event, which will also feature 10 food trucks, is sold out, and no tix will be sold at the door, so unless you can do some swapping action with someone who has tix, you are all but out of luck! Buuuut, stay tuned to my musings on beer via Twitter.
No-Tie Dessert Party
Saturday night also marks the annual No-Tie Dinner‘s dessert party, at Frontiers of Flight Museum. AIDS Services of Dallas’ biggest fundraiser has a fun theme this year: Desserts-a-Go-Go, and guests are encouraged to dress in raucous ’60s style. As always, the event features numerous Dallas dining spots serving up their signature sweets, all to the sounds of toe-tapping music. Oh, and did I mention Whiskey-a-Go-Go cocktails? Yes! Tickets are $50 and benefit ASD, which provides needed services to local residents living with HIV/AIDS.Read the rest
With April, we see the trees and flowers back in bloom, this Diva’s allergies trying to flare up (get a Zyrtec drip, stat!) and the Dallas International Film Festival (henceforth called DIFF) returning with today’s kickoff. And action!
As always, DIFF brings a bevy of buzzy movies fresh from film fest rounds, including Sundance and South by Southwest, as well as a ton of regional premieres every cinephile can appreciate. But what’s on my list of must-see flicks? Why, I’m glad you asked …Read the rest
Earlier this month, I traveled to Louisiana as a guest of Baton Rouge to check out how the “Red Stick” city rolls. I had an exquisite time, and found the capital city to be full of charming corners, good eats and drinks and fun things to do. And no wonder — in the last few years, the city has poured resources into revitalizing its compact and very walkable downtown area. There’s a handsome new greenspace called the North Boulevard Town Square, at the heart of downtown that entices folks to walk around or grab a table for lunch. A classic trolley runs through some popular stops in town, including the town square. A stretch of 3rd Street offers nightlife options aplenty, and sites such as the Old State Capitol and the riverfront’s USS Kidd Nautical Museum and Louisiana Art & Science Museum make for supremely interesting visits.
But what kinds of trouble did I get into? Read on!Read the rest
The AT&T Performing Arts Center invited me to see the (in)famous Blue Man Group at the Winspear this week. Talk about spreading the holiday joy!
As you probably know, Blue Man Group consists of three painted percussionist-performers who use uncommon objects as instruments and incorporate a slew of other materials and technology to entertain the audience.
No matter your age, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this show. I never thought I’d find myself on my feet, dancing and screaming like a gleeful 5-year-old, but there I was, shaking my merrymaker at the closing segment. The Blue Men were beating these giant, lit-from-within, inflatable balls to a house beat and suddenly loosed the balls into the crowd, to screams. It was a blast watching the audience jump up to volley them from one side of the auditorium to the next.
Add to that the earlier skits featuring audience participation, 3D electronic displays and melodic banging on pipes, and you have the well-rounded, heady experience that is a Blue Man Group show.
Best scramble if you want to see them, though — the last shows are tonight and tomorrow. Get your tix here. And enjoy the show!!Read the rest
I was invited to check out the British-flavored menu (food, bev and beer!) at the British Beverage Company, a decidedly modern spin on a Europub in Uptown’s Quandrangle complex. Are the food and atmosphere anything to write home about? Let’s check in for our flight to the UK …Read the rest
Last night, I learned some tragic news: Keith LaBonte — owner of Four Lounge, one of my favorite mixologists in Dallas and a good friend and supporter — died suddenly. My heart aches!
Keith, in addition to having a huge, loving personality and that resonant growl of a voice, was one of my earliest supporters and nightclub contacts, from my days at The Dallas Morning News. When I set out to start The Dallas Diva, he kept me apprised of cool happenings at the lounge and cocktail menu updates. Anyone who knows me knows that Four Lounge was one of my — if not my absolute — favorite haunts in Dallas. Keith’s talent and heart behind the bar were a huge part of that.
One of the brightest hours for Four and one of my happiest memories is from when Keith not only returned to the lounge after a brief stint at another bar, but returned with an ownership stake. When I walked into Four to congratulate him his first night back, he was nearly bouncing off the walls with glee, walking up to me with a skip in his step and a huge smile on his face. I knew then that Four was his heart and exactly where he belonged. He LOVED that club and poured his being into it. More than that, he was a good friend, texting or Facebooking me to check up and see how I was.
And I can’t talk about Keith without mentioning his unfailing generosity. I had two birthday parties at Four Lounge, and in planning them, Keith asked me what food he could provide (even cooking Italian specialties from scratch!) and whether to roll out the red carpet. He treated me like family every time I walked in the door, and I loved him for it.
Keith showed a natural and creative flair for crafting supremely unique drinks — cupcake martini, smores martini, smoked-bourbon drinks … if it was slightly crazy, Keith wanted to serve it up. Some of my fave bevs included champagne infused with his signature, homemade syrups: elderflower, lavender, basil.
I’ve been terribly torn up since learning of his passing Sunday night, knowing that I missed out on hanging with him on Saturday night — not that my presence would have changed anything, but … it would’ve meant another hug, another smile, another chat with Keith. It’s been a rough day, to say the least, and I can’t even imagine how horribly his close friends and family feel. My condolences to his relatives and loved ones.
Keith, I raise a glass (full of my favorite drink of yours, the Honey Carameltini) to you and will miss you unendingly. Cheers, and rest in peace, my friend …Read the rest